Shopify Plus VS 3dcart Enterprise
Building a large business on a subpar platform is like training a circus elephant to dance on a tiny stage: It’s clumsy and frustrating, and something will probably break.
If your business has become an elephant and you a frustrated trainer, you may be considering a switch. Fortunately, many platforms offer enterprise plans for their products. Shopify and 3dcart are among them.
Both Shopify Plus (see our review) and 3dcart Enterprise provide the scalability, uptime, and bandwidth that your large company needs, though each platform has very different strengths. In this article, we’ll be comparing both enterprise solutions’ pricing, web design, ease of use, and features. But first, here’s what you need to know about each company.
Shopify is one of the top competitors among shopping carts that specialize in ease-of-use. As a whole, Shopify hosts more than 275,000 stores that have generated over $17 Billion in sales. Current Shopify Plus clients include Red Bull, Budweiser, and General Electric.
3dcart has a significantly smaller following with 17,000 customers and 23,000 active online stores. However, 3dcart does not fall short in experience. They’ve been around since 2001, a few years longer than most alternative eCommerce solutions. 3dcart currently hosts online stores for Quadrocopter.com, Amoro Fine Jewelry, and American RV Company.
Keep reading for a side-by-side comparison of Shopify Plus and 3dcart Enterprise.
Table of Contents
Web-Hosted or Licensed:
Both Shopify Plus and 3dcart are enterprise level SaaS (Software as a System). They are fully web-based.
Hardware and Software Requirements:
There are no hardware or software requirements for either enterprise solution. You just need a computer, a reliable internet connection, and a good browser.
Winner: 3dcart Enterprise
Pricing for Shopify Plus is flexible, depending upon the size and needs of your business. A larger business that needs more support will be charged more than a business that has only just reached the enterprise level. The lowest possible pricing for Shopify Plus is $2000/month.
Note: Many Shopify customers spend a considerable amount on 3rd-party apps due to Shopify’s more limited functionality. See Negative Reviews and Complaints.
Pricing for 3dcart Enterprise is listed definitively on its website. 3dcart Enterprise costs $999.99/month with a one time setup fee of $299. There are no contracts necessary, but if you purchase multiple months at a time, you can save a small percentage (up to 15% if you purchase a year at a time).
If these prices make you a little squeamish, you might look into 3dcart’s Professional Plan. It’s very similar to 3dcart Enterprise; the biggest difference is that you’re allowed 25GB of bandwidth as opposed to unlimited bandwidth. However, bandwidth overage fees are a mere $5 per 1GB/month (relatively cheap compared to an $1000 plan). You might consider it.
Ease of Use:
Winner: Shopify Plus
Both Shopify Plus and 3dcart employ the standard dashboards used by their non-enterprise counterparts.
That’s a great thing for Shopify Plus. Shopify’s dashboard is one of the cleanest and most intuitive that I’ve seen.
When I tested out the software for myself, I was able to add products without much trouble. I played around with the theme editor, and had a similar experience. You can view all of your changes in real time before you publish them.
Shopify offers a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor as well as a HTML/CSS editor for larger changes.
Although 3dcart’s dashboard isn’t quite as simple as that of Shopify, it isn’t bad. 3dcart has recently updated their admin, and while I’ve seen some complaints online about all of the white space, I’m all right with it.
You can add products easily and list as many attributes (“options”) as you’d like.
There are a few ways you can edit the theme. There’s a WYSIWYG option available as well as editors for the HTML5 and CSS. However, the 3dcart representative I talked to told me he doesn’t often recommend customers make major changes in the HTML. The 3dcart support team is not able to assist with HTML customizations; if you aren’t entirely sure what you’re doing, it’s best to stay away.
There’s also an Admin design bar, which you can take a look at below. You can use the design bar to edit content on your site and to change the side banners on your store front.
Overall, both carts are pretty good in terms of ease of use, though Shopify is slightly better in this respect.
Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it. Both companies offer free trials of their platforms. Take them for a spin.
Winner: 3dcart Enterprise
Shopify Plus and 3dcart Enterprise offer the scalability and 99.99% uptime you can expect from an enterprise solution. You don’t have to worry about your site crashing because of huge spikes in traffic or bandwidth usage.
Both enterprise solutions come with very similar features, so it might be more helpful to look at how they differ.
Shopfiy Plus guarantees a smooth transition from your previous platform. Using the Traffic Control App, you won’t lose your previous traffic or drop in SEO rankings. This cart has multichannel capabilities, so you can sell across the web (including on Ebay, Amazon, Facebook, and Pinterest). Shopify Plus also integrates with Google Analytics to help you monitor sales and analyze your customers’ purchasing trends.
Shopify Plus does not include faceted search or one page checkout, though both of those features can be added with apps. You can find a full list of Shopify’s features here.
3dcart Enterprise also comes with a whole host of features. Like Shopify Plus, 3dcart Enterprise has multi-channel selling capabilities; you can hawk your wares on Amazon, Ebay, Google, Facebook, and Shopzilla. Though 3dcart Enterprise does not have faceted search built-in, it does have a search bar for your front page so customers can find what they need faster. SmartCategories automatically creates categories for new or popular products or sale items. 3dcart also comes with advanced security features including DDoS protection by CloudFlare and secure tokenization for recurring orders, additional transactions, and “card on file” options.
While Shopify Plus comes with a decent amount of features, in order to really make your enterprise-level store shine, you’re going to need a few (or more) extra applications. And while that works just fine in terms of delivering functionality, it cost extra. All in all, it’s generally better to just have those features built in.
3dcart’s motto “Everything you need to sell online” is basically true. 3dcart’s features list is extensive, and it includes everything I can think of (besides faceted search, that is. That’s only available with an app). In features, 3dcart Enterprise trumps Shopify Plus.
Click here to check out the rest of 3dcart Enterprise’s features.
Winner: Shopify Plus
Shopify Plus offers over 100 mobile responsive themes, and they’re some of the best on the market. While there are a few free options available, you might consider purchasing a premium theme; they range in price from $140–$180.
3dcart Enterprise also offers 100+ mobile responsive pre-made themes. 63 of them are free, and the rest cost between $149–$199. 3dcart’s themes use HTML5.
I’m awarding this category to Shopify Plus only because I find Shopify’s themes slightly more attractive. Shopify gets a 9.5/10 on the hotness scale, and 3dcart gets a 8/10. It’s not that 3dcart’s themes are unattractive; they just don’t stand out as much as Shopify’s do.
Integrations and Add-Ons:
Shopify Plus’s general philosophy is to keep the admin simple and offer a lot of apps. And I mean, A LOT. There are over 1000 add-ons available in the Shopify App Store, so you’re certain to find what you need. If you’re looking to foot your own connection, you can do that using Shopify’s REST API. Shopify Plus will also help you source custom connections to your ERP, CRM, and accounting systems.
Conversely, 3dcart Enterprise has a lot more features already built-in, so while their admin is slightly more cumbersome at first, you don’t need as many apps. Nevertheless, 3dcart offers a wide array of add-ons in their app store. I’ve listed a few of 3dcart’s prefabricated integrations here:
- ERP Systems: NetSuite, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics
- Enterprise Fraud Prevention: Kount, Fraud Watch, Hacker Guardian
- Advanced Tax Solutions: TaxCloud, SpeedTax, Avalara
- Fulfillment, Shipping, Multi-channel: FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), Monsoon Commerce, Fulfillrite
3dcart also has a REST API available, so you can build your own connections.
Winner: Shopify Plus
Shopify Plus connects with over 70 payment gateways. You can view the full list here.
Shopify also offers its very own payment gateway, Shopify Payments. With Shopify Payments, you can benefit from reduced credit card rates. While Shopify’s website only lists rates up to the Advanced Shopify plan, I’ll bet the enterprise rates are as good if not better. Take a look at the image below.
While 3dcart’s payment options certainly aren’t shabby, I didn’t see any partnership akin to Shopify Payments that would reduce credit card rates. So, Shopify Plus takes this category.
Customer Service and Technical Support:
Shopify Plus offers premium level “white glove” support to its clients. All Shopify Plus clients benefit from Shopify’s typical support options: eCommerce Forums, a Help Center, live chat, email, and 24/7 phone support. On top of that, Shopify Plus clients are guaranteed priority service (your phone calls are more important) and a Merchant Success Manager, who is your direct line to Shopify.
3dcart Enterprise comes with a similar level of support. The Enterprise plan (like all 3dcart plans) includes 24/7/365 support via phone, email and chat, as well as a Knowledgebase, videos, an HTML Guide, and a User Manual. There’s also general support available in 3dcart’s eCommerce University and eCommerce Forum. Enterprise clients receive VIP support from a designated support team.
3dcart also offers several enterprise support packages: SEO Enterprise, Social Media Ultimate for Facebook, and myWebmaster plan. The first two packages cost about $800/month. Pricing for myWebmaster depends upon the amount of support you need.
I’ve seen complaints regarding customer service from both Shopify and 3dcart clients. Granted, these complaints were not from enterprise-level clients, but I would like to see better reviews regardless. It’s a tie.
Negative Reviews and Complaints:
It’s always a challenge to find any customer reviews that discuss enterprise eCommerce solutions. In fact, most of the time I can’t find a single customer review that deals directly with an enterprise plan. So, typically, I explore the customer complaints directed at the company that offers the enterprise platform. Here are the complaints I’ve found that also pertain to enterprise-level plans.
Shopify customers often complain about Shopify’s limited functionality. There are limits to the types of discounts you can create, limits to the number of attributes you can list, and limits to your ability to sell using B2B functionality. Of course, most of these issue can be resolved with another app, but all those apps can add up.
Complaints directed toward 3dcart mention poor customer service. Clients report that customer support was unavailable, unhelpful, or unresponsive. I’ve noticed, however, that the CEO of 3dcart often posts beneath these comments, apologizing and saying that 3dcart has recently restructured their customer support model–technical support should be better now. I talked to the Director of Client Success and found out that, indeed, customer support has been radically restructured to facilitate better communication between departments. If you’ve had a better experience with 3dcart’s customer service recently, let us know in the comments below.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials:
Due to lack of customer reviews, I’ve had to resort to Shopify Plus and 3dcart Enterprise’s websites to find testimonials. Here’s what those testimonials tend to praise.
Shopify Plus clients love that they were able to migrate from their previous provider to Shopify Plus quickly and easily. They also love the platform’s scalability and the REST API that allows them to customize the store’s backend.
3dcart Enterprise clients most frequently mention the ability to customize with CSS. One client said 3dcart is “as customizable as proprietary software gets.” Other testimonials mention B2B selling features and the ability to set up rewards programs, wish lists, and waiting lists for unavailable products.
I hate to declare yet another tie, but Shopify Plus and 3dcart are neck-and-neck in this category as well.
Winner: Shopify Plus
Shopify Plus emerges as the victor of this competition, but not without a fight.
Shopify gains the upper hand in its ease of use, elegant themes, and diverse payment gateways and applications, only faltering in terms of features and price.
However, 3dcart Enterprise is an excellent option for the merchant who wants features, features, features but does not want to fuss with a bunch of 3rd-party apps.
But, if you’re ready to contact one (or both) of these companies, just click the link below.